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Effects of DEET on Nomex Clothing

Screen shot of the cover page for the Tech Tip cited in this article.

Wildland firefighters may encounter lots of mosquitoes while working. Because mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus, mosquitoes are no longer just an inconvenience.

Tests were performed with DEET (N, N–diethyl–3–methylbenzamide) and permethrin (an insecticide) on various types of Nomex clothing worn by firefighters. DEET reduces the flame resistance of Nomex clothing, but permethrin does not. DEET can be applied directly to the skin, so long as the manufacturer’s instructions are followed.

The tech tip, DEET Mosquito Repellent Reduces the Flame Resistance of Firefighters’ Nomex Clothing (0551–2327–MTDC), discusses DEET and permethrin products, and offers some recommendations to help firefighters contend with mosquitoes.

For more information on DEET and Nomex clothing, contact Leslie Anderson, program leader (phone: 406–329–1043; e-mail:

To order the tech tip, contact MTDC publications (phone: 406–329–3978; e-mail:

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